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How To Change the Font of your Nokia N9

I have been playing with my Nokia N9 for the last couple of days, and I have discovered some cool things I think people will appreciate. First of all, the disclaimer: I am not responsible for whatever happens to your N9, this is a complex process; if you don’t know what SSH or VI are, it’s better not to proceed. Also, I am not a “hacker,” just a recursive guy, so don’t make fun of my methods… If there’s a better one, I would be glad to try it!

Changing the font of the Nokia N9 is not that hard; what I basically did is replacing the Nokia Pure Text font in a folder for the font I wanted to use. I renamed the font I wanted to use like NokiaPureText fonts in order to trick the N9 into believing those are the default fonts,  let me take you through a more detailed step-by-step process:

  1. You need to find one font that has three different classes: light, regular, and bold. For example, xxxx-light, xxxx-regular, and xxxx-bold.
  2. Now, you have to developer-unlock your device. Go to settings>security>developer mode>and flick the switch. You will have to reboot the device after an app automatically installs.
  3. Now, download “FileBox” from the Nokia Store.
  4. Connect your computer and N9 to the same network and fire up the “SDK Connection” app in your N9. Select WLAN and take note of the IP address.
  5. Now fire up the terminal in your Nokia N9: type “devel-su” and then “rootme.” Now type “passwd” and enter a password. Passwords don’t show in terminal, just type it.
  6. Get the three fonts you want in your N9 and email them to yourself. Download and save them in your Nokia N9. Now, open FileBox and make sure those fonts are in: /home/user/MyDocs/Documents, if they aren’t, find them and take note of the file path.
  7. Open a terminal in your computer. Now type the following commands:
1. ssh user@the IP adress from step 4. E.x: user@
2. now enter the password from step 5
3. now type: “devel-su” and password is “rootme
4. now type: cd /usr/share/fonts/nokia/Nokia\ Pure/proportional. If you type ls you will see there are three fonts there:
5. Now, copy over the fonts you emailed to yourself:
cp /home/user/MyDocs/Documents/* .  (Don’t forget the dot). This command will copy all the stuff you have there, so you might want to make sure you only have the three fonts you are going to replace.
6. Now this is the hardest part; you will rename the three Nokia Pure Text fonts to something else, and then rename the fonts you want to take the place of the Nokia font you renamed. For example, you rename NokiaPureText-Light.ttf to font1.ttf, and then rename yourfont.ttf to NokiaPureText-light.ttf. In terminal that would translate: mv NokiaPureText-Light.ttf font1.ttf followed by: mv yourfont.ttf NokiaPureText-Light.ttf now you have to do the same thing three times, replacing each font. Don’t mess up with the names or misspell the words! I don’t know what would happen but you would be following my next tutorial on unbricking the N9.
7. Now delete or move out of the true NokiaPureText fonts that you renamed to font1 or whatever. You can delete like this: rm font1.ttf. If you hit ls, you should see the same thing you started with on step 4, but of course the NokiaPureFonts are not NokiaPureFonts but your own.
8. Now reboot your device, you should have a new font system wide!


  • http://www.worldofphones.net adityasinghvi

    Superb stuff man… They sure made the device really ‘open’ here… :)

  • h078

    I renamed my fonts to NokiaPure… on PC, copied them via the pc and then copied them in terminal to 
    /usr/share/fonts/nokia/Nokia Pure/proportional  thus overwriting existing fonts there, rebooted but still have Nokia Pure as system font. I can confirm that my new fonts are in 
    /usr/share/fonts/nokia/Nokia Pure/proportional  since creation date and file sizes are different from original Nokia Pure fonts. Any help would be appreciated to do proper change. I just want standard nokia font that i am used looking into last 15 years or so…


    • http://nokiamobileblog.com/ Edward U.

      Maybe the fonts you downloaded are actually Nokia Pure? Another thing that occurs to me is that somehow you mixed up the file extension in your PC. Try following the exact step-by-step guide.

  • h078

    actually the fonts i had are standard nokia font used on S60, S40 etc, and extensions are .ttf, also I confirmed 100% that i renamed them identical to NokiaPure fonts (bold, light etc)??/

  • h078

    also .. why do u need to SSH – cant u just log in as root on phone terminal and copy fonts to directory…? 

    • http://nokiamobileblog.com/ Edward U.

      I used SSH because it’s easier for me to type and use my computer’s screen. The N9’s terminal is not very comfortable IMO.